Home Year 1986 Jason Lives: Friday The 13th Part VI (1986)

Jason Lives: Friday The 13th Part VI (1986)

That's not going to have much of an effect, is it?
That’s not going to have much of an effect, is it?

Twitter Plot Summary: There’s more killing going on in Crystal Lake, but this time the film’s half decent.

Five Point Summary:

1. So now Jason is a supernatural creation?
2. Self-referential humour is a good thing.
3. That soundtrack’s pretty epic, to be fair.
4. And apparently Jason doesn’t kill children.
5. Water-based finale.

The mind of poor Tommy is in disarray, which will come as no surprise to anybody who saw the fifth film in the Friday The 13th franchise. Who in their right mind would dig up Jason’s body, for example? This is precisely what Tommy does in a fit of hubris, and via a freak bolt of lightning Jason is resurrected once again and his rampage of killing and death is permitted to continue afresh. Don’t worry about an explanation, just go with it.

Part VI somehow marks the high point of the franchise to date, reducing the ludicrous amounts of gratuitous nudity and sexism towards women and finding a perfect balance between scares and pitch black comedy. There are still the usual array of victims for Jason to dispatch, but the script is much more knowing about this – a girl at the start, on seeing Jason in the road ahead, remarks that she’s seen enough horror films to know how this ends. And, predictably, that’s exactly how it goes.

There are many other similar examples throughout of this self-referential meta-humour, and in hindsigh it’s simultaneously a shame that subsequent movies didn’t follow this template, but understandable why they decided to return to the old template – Part VI didn’t make nearly as much money as had been hoped and so a return to the old ways was perhaps inevitable.

Epic sized search team, that.
Epic sized search team, that.

The template is much the same as usual, however there is more a sense of fun with regards to how the deaths take place and how each of them is approached. It would soon get very boring if everybody was killed in exactly the same manner, and luckily for us a bit of thought has been put in to make them sufficiently different. Part VI doesn’t scrimp on the gore either, there’s plenty of claret and violence that frequently outdoes the violence in the first five films, albeit tempered by the comedic elements. When you have stuff to laugh at, apparently you can get away with as much violence as you feel necessary.

Jason’s supernatural return from the dead is never explained, but to be frank it never needed to be. He does appear however to have some basic moral code by refusing to kill children. One might argue that this is an attempt at giving Jason’s character a bit of depth, but that’s never implicit in the film itself amd is probably either a mistake on the scriptwriter’s part or an element from an earlier draft that wasn’t removed.

The soundtrack also takes a positive step forward by adding Alice Cooper to the mix, so to speak. Tracks Teenage Frankenstein, Hard Rock Summer and He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask) feature prominently, and work nicely in conjunction with the slightly more accomplished production values that the franchise has now exhibited. It’s not something that would last, of course, but here at least the balance was achieved and the franchise can lay claim to having at least one film that wasn’t half bad.

Score: 2.5/5

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